David McCleery, our Concerts & Events Manager, presented his report. The PCC noted the current success of this area of activity and the favourable variance to budget, and commended the Concerts & Events Manager on this performance. Noting particular success in relation to school musicians/choirs, it was agreed that further opportunities, possibly though advertising in a publication aimed specifically at schools, would be explored. Issues relating to a lack of consistency in the standard of security services provided by St James’s contractors were also discussed, and it was noted that the Estates Manager would be reviewing this support. The Concerts & Events Manager also acknowledged and expressed thanks for the administrative support provided by Sahil Dodhia, St James’s Receptionist/Administrator.
Re-tender for Audit Services
Following a re-tender for audit services to St James’s, the PCC approved, upon the recommendation of the Audit Committee, to appoint Griffin Stone Moscrop & Co as auditors, replacing Mazars, who had served as St James’s auditors for the past five years. The new appointment would be for a period of five years, reviewable annually.
Wren Project update
Following on from a presentation to members of the St James’s congregation on 27 May, Lucy Winkett provided an update on the Wren (site redevelopment) project, reporting in particular on the current stage of consultation with the various interested Amenity Societies.
Led by Trevor Lines, Churchwarden, members of the PCC provided feedback on their recent pilgrimage to Berlin, Krakow, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Nuremberg. In addition to apprising the PCC of the various visits that had taken place, PCC members who had participated in the pilgrimage reported on the profound impact that this had had upon them, emphasising the value that they placed upon having shared these experiences with other members of the group and the mutual support provided by the group. A presentation to members of the congregation would be arranged after Church on a forthcoming Sunday.
Ivan Khovacs provided a report on encouragement provided to members of the St James’s congregation to pursue their own sense of belonging and place in the church, and to follow vocational pathways to Licenced Lay Ministry or Ordination. The PCC further encouraged this, noting that in addition to helping individuals follow their own personal calling, having more Licensed Lay Ministers would be good for the Parish in helping to support the work of the clergy team, including important pastoral work.
Theology Study Days
The Revd Ivan Khovacs provided an update, highlighting the many theologically rich practices at St James’s relating to liturgy and worship, as well as engagement with social issues and identifying with a family of churches in a multi-faith multicultural city. He also highlighted the practice of open Bible reading and interpretation, for example, in Baptism and Confirmation preparation, the Camino course, and this year in Lent discussions interacting with the TV series ‘Broken’. Open theology discussions were also an important element of the Parish away-days and other events such as the recent Eco-theology and nature conservation discussion led by the co-founder of A Rocha. The PCC gave its encouragement to continuing and developing this important aspect of St James’s mission.
Commitment to Silence
The Revd Lucy Winkett provided a report, emphasising St James’s commitment to silence and silent prayer, and to the Church being open and quiet for much of the week – an oasis of quietness. The PCC noted the various ways in which this silence is celebrated, including the daily Holding onto the Silence programme available, Silence as a key aspect of Morning Prayer every day at 0830, the inclusion of a collective silence after the sermon in the 11.00am Sunday morning Eucharist, and also in the Prayer corner. Various protocols for usage of the Church during the week were in place in support of this commitment. The PCC provided feedback and encouragement.
The Revd Lucy Winkett reported on the means by which St James’s offers opportunities to weekday workers. She outlined a number of additional further models for engagement that are in place at other churches, including ‘Business with Benedict’, (a fortnightly or monthly breakfast invitation), ‘Start: Stop’, (a series of short early morning reflections), and ‘Sunday on Monday (Monday lunchtime talk and prayer for workers). The PCC noted that there is significant scope to develop this aspect of St James’s activities, but cognisant of the limited nature of resources, agreed to leave pursuing this further in abeyance for the time being, for reconsideration in six months’ time.
The PCC received for information and discussed/noted:
- Planning for the PCC Away-day Saturday 30th June 2018
- Plans for Pride weekend 7th – 8th July 2018
- Planning for the Patronal Festival Sunday 22nd July 2018
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 19th April 2018
- The minutes of staff meeting of 2nd May 2018
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 23rd May 2018
- PCC members were reminded of the annual barbecue for members of the PCC, staff, market traders and volunteers to be held on the evening of Friday 3rd August 2018